Thursday, August 2, 2012

#IPADay and Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

Today is IPA Day, which means you should stop reading for a minute and go crack open a bottle of hoppy, craft-brewed India Pale Ale. Why are you still sitting there? Go on - git! I'll wait...

Alright, now that you've got a brew in-hand, let's figure out what this #IPADay thing is. (Hint: it has nothing to do with Apple's tablet. Someone just decided to capitalize the "D" too.) From
Founded in 2011 by beer evangelists and social media personalities Ashley Routson and Ryan Ross, IPA Day is a universal movement created to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, and brewers worldwide, using social media as the common arena for connecting the conversation together.
IPA Day is not the brainchild of a corporate marketing machine, nor is it meant to serve any particular beer brand. IPA Day is opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer. It is an opportunity for the entire craft beer culture to combine forces and advocate craft beer through increased education and global awareness.
Getting involved is easy; the only requirements are an appreciation for great beer and the will to spread the word. Anyone can participate by enjoying IPA with friends, making some noise online with the #IPADay hashtag, and showing the world that craft beer is more than a trend.
Sounds like something I can get behind! So to celebrate, I raise a glass of Dogfish Head's illustrious 120 Minute IPA. Prost!

I picked up this bottle during a recent trip to Lewes, Delaware, which is only a few minutes away from the DFH brewery in Milton. As you can imagine, being so close necessitated a visit. (If you missed my blog post about the brewery tour, you can read it here.) Unfortunately, when I got there, the brewery did not have any 120 Minute. 
I had wanted to try the oft-discussed, highly-sought beer for such a long time, but I had never been able to get my hands on any. I thought for sure I would be able to get it straight from the source. Alas and alack, such was not the case. It appeared I was going to be leaving a sad and empty-handed fellow, but thankfully, I found a few single bottles in a beer-liquor-wine shop in Lewes! At $8.99 for a 12-ouncer, it was a steal. It is not uncommon for the highly-demanded beer to command a price of $13+. I bought two: one to enjoy in the near future and one to age for a few years. The near future has come and gone, so here are my tasting notes:

Appearance: A deep, hazy orange with a thin cream-colored head. Look at those hop particles floating around in my glass. Makes my mouth water just watching.

Smell: You can tell there's a high alcohol content to this one, but it's not knock-you-off-your-feet overwhelming. Noticeably sweet smell mixed in there, too. Actually, it reminds me of DFH's Burton Baton (which I haven't formally reviewed yet - stay tuned).

Taste: WOW! I have never had anything like this! It's beyond great. Extremely smooth. You know that it has a high alcohol content (18% ABV!) from the first sip, but it's amazing how well the beer hides it with the sweetness. Fizzy yet smooth...soooo smooth! Is that scotch? Wishing I had bought a third and fourth bottle. Now my mouth is tingling from the hops, yet it is offset by the slight numbing effect setting in from the alcohol. It's amazing to me that this isn't more hoppy-tasting; 120 IBUs is nothing to sneeze at! I mean, it's boiled for a full two hours while being continuously hopped, dry-hopped daily in the fermenter for a month, and aged for another month on whole-leaf hops. It's a hophead's dream-come-true! But the 18% ABV isn't extremely evident either. It's as though DFH found the perfect mix of hops and alcohol: both very high and balanced. I'm impressed.

Mouthfeel: It doesn't get any smoother than this. Full-bodied fizziness to be enjoyed.

Overall: Impressive. This beer lives up to the hype. The only downside in my view is the availability factor. Rock on, Dogfish Head. You know what's up.

1770 BeerAdvocate users rate it an overall 87/100.
1980 RateBeer users rate it an overall 99/100 and a 97/100 for the style.
Clearly, people like this brew.

Justin's Brew Review gives it an A+.
Clearly, Justin likes this brew.

Do you? Let me know in the comments, or hit me up on Facebook, Google+, and/or Twitter. Also, let me know how you're celebrating #IPADay. Cheers to beers!